NCAA Division II Soccer Championships - Dec. 4, 2016
Kansas City Sports Commission

NCAA Division II soccer champions crowned at Swope Soccer Village

The 2016 NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships were decided Saturday at Children’s Mercy Victory Field inside Swope Soccer Village.

For the first time in either program’s history, the Wingate University men and the Western Washington women were crowned national champions in a thrilling afternoon of action.

The Wingate Bulldogs (19-1-0) earned a historic 2-0 win over Charleston (W.Va.) — receiving goals in either half from junior forward Jon Ander — to hoist the North Carolina school’s first national championship in any sport. 

Wingate rattled off five straight victories in the NCAA Tournament without allowing a goal, condemning Charleston (19-3-2) to its second championship game defeat in three years. Ander drew first blood in the 37th minute, settling a pass from freshman midfielder Oscar Perez and rifling a deflected shot high into the net. His second was a thunderous long-range effort in the 78th minute that sealed Wingate’s title.

The second match of Saturday’s doubleheader saw the Western Washington Vikings (24-0-1) complete an unbeaten season with a pulsating 3-2 win over three-time defending national champion Grand Valley State (Mich.).

Western Washington took three separate leads throughout the contest, landing the first punch in the 18th minute through senior midfielder Caitlyn Jobanek. Grand Valley’s Jayma Martin replied in the 33rd minute, only for Jobanek to restore her side’s advantage four minutes later. Defender Clare Carlson provided another equalizer in the 72nd minute, but junior midfielder Emily Webster’s 76th-minute strike proved decisive in giving the Vikings their first women’s soccer championship.

A year ago, Grand Valley defeated Western Washington 3-2 in the national semifinals en route to its third straight national title. The Vikings exacted revenge this time around, handing the Lakers (23-2-1) just their fifth total loss since 2013.

The NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships will return to Swope Soccer Village in 2017, playing host to the final four of each tournament. Over the past 12 months, Kansas City has hosted NCAA Soccer Championships at the Division I, II and III levels.